Image Rich, Reality Poor: Behind the Story: Deep in the Heart

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by Staci Stallings

It’s amazing to me how different life looks if you ever bother to look at more than the outside surface of things.  In our world today we’re all so busy, and we get so caught up in doing things and getting things and having things that we forget what’s really important.  What’s really important is not how something, or more to the point–someone, looks on the outside.  It’s what’s inside that counts. 

One of the things that fascinates me about the story “Deep in the Heart” is the paradox of being image rich and reality poor–and vice versa, being image poor and reality rich. In the story, Keith Ayers is the son of a billionaire.  He literally has the world at his feet–a beautiful fiancée who is wealthy and well-connected and a father who owns half of Texas.  Okay, not half, but pretty close.  He is the definition of Image Rich. 

Then there’s Maggie Montgomery.  Poor Maggie.  I’m telling you from the first time you meet her, you will feel more than a twinge of sympathy for her.  She literally has nothing in life–two dollars in her purse and a car that’s going to break down any second.  She is in every way image poor.  In fact, she’s not even wearing her own shoes, and the shoes she is wearing don’t fit.  She is to all the world the personification of Image Poor. 

But look a little closer and you begin to see that everything is not as the images would have you believe.  For one thing, Keith’s life is a mess.  Oh, he talks a good game and looks good doing it–when he’s all citified that is.  However, when Maggie first meets him on the stairs of his father’s mansion, she doesn’t see that at all.  Why?  Because there he is image poor. 

In his dusty jeans and ripped shirt, he doesn’t look like a billionaire’s son, and because he doesn’t look that way, she trusts him enough to be real–to let him see the real her–nerves and imperfections and all.  Had he looked image rich, she would never have trusted him because she wouldn’t have felt anywhere near his league.  And that’s part of the paradox.  We treat others by how we see them, never realizing there is always so much more to the story. 

Of course, for Keith he’s really not a fan of the image rich lifestyle.  He’s seen it up-close-and-personal and he wants no part of it.  Except he can’t keep his father and everyone else from dragging him down that dark hole of being who he isn’t and how he isn’t to keep up the image until he’s come to the point that maybe he should give up what he wants and just accept the image rich persona everyone wants to put on him. 

For Maggie, she had no chance at image rich.  The truth is, she’s just struggling for survival.  However, because of that, she’s had to become Really (or Spiritually) Rich.  Oh, this doesn’t show on her clothes or her shoes or her hairstyle.  It shows only in her heart, and those wise enough to look below the image are the only ones lucky enough to see how truly rich she really is.  Of course, everyone in Keith’s circle is horrified because her image is all wrong, but Keith is slowly drawn not to the outside image but to what’s really there.  As this happens, he begins to question if it is possible for him to shed the image everyone wants him to be and go for what he really is. 

However, shedding the image and reaching for Really Rich rather than just Image Rich is not always as easy as it sounds, and Keith soon learns that becoming Really Spiritually Rich is much, much harder than it looks.  Can he break out of what the world says he should look like in order to become the man he really is meant to be?

Deep in the Heart is FREE on Amazon right now… 

https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Heart-Contemporary-Christian-Romance-ebook/dp/B005LVVIIG 

Deep in the Heart

Interview With Maggie Montgomery

We at Christian Ereader News would like to welcome Maggie Montgomery.  Maggie is the new nanny for billionaire Conrad Ayers children. 

CEN:  Thanks for coming today, Maggie. 

Maggie:  Thank you for having me.  

CEN:  Tell us a little about your new job. 

Maggie:  Oh, well, my new job is great.  It is.  I look after the two children—Peter and Isabella.  And they are the sweetest little kids in the world.  Very well behaved.  Not that they really have much choice.  Everything is run on a pretty tight schedule at the Ayer mansion.  Peter has all kinds of lessons.  Of course Izzy being so young, she doesn’t have lessons yet, but I’m sure that’s just a matter of time. 

CEN: So we hear there’s a new relationship in your life?  Tell us about that. 

Maggie:  A new…? Oh.  You mean Keith.  

Well, that’s not really a relationship.  I mean, not like you mean anyway.  Not like… we’re together or anything. We’re not. Definitely not.  After all, he’s engaged to Dallas Henderson, you know, the senator’s daughter. Yeah.  And they’re getting married in June… (Maggie trails off, lost in thought).  They’re right for each other. They are. Perfect really.  I mean, Dallas is just who Keith should be with.  She’s really smart.  In fact, she’s going to be lawyer, and she has all the right connections.  She’s a nice person too.  Not that we’ve really been around each other much. I mean, I’m just the help and all. 

And Keith… Keith is Mr. Ayers’ son, with his first wife.  Not that I knew that the first time we met. (Laughs)  I thought he was the hired hand, that he just ran the stables.  And he does… he does do that.  (Drifts off again, sighs, and looks up)  But we’re just friends, and I’m sure once he’s married, we won’t even be that.  Not that I blame him.  After all, that’s how it should be. 

CEN:  What has been the biggest obstacle in your life? 

Maggie: I lost my parents when I was very young—only 8.  They were killed in a car accident.  It’s been really tough since then because I ended up in the foster care system growing up.  Although I finally got to a good home, the first few were pretty rough.  I guess that’s why I’m so passionate about kids, why I went into early childhood education, because I see how important protecting and being there for kids really is. 

CEN:  If you could have or do one thing, what would it be? 

Maggie: That’s easy.  I would do everything I could to show every child in the world how much God loves them.  Whether that would mean taking in foster kids or going into places where kids are really struggling to just get by.  I think it’s so important for them to know that God really cares about them and that He has a Plan for each one of them, even if they can’t see it right now. 

Like this job is for me.  I mean, I don’t plan on staying here forever.  At least I didn’t when I got here, but Pete and Izzy…. Well, we’ll see what God has planned, but trust me, I never saw this coming, so who knows what God has in mind for me. 

CEN:  It sounds like your faith is very important to you.  Can you tell us more about that? 

Maggie: Bouncing around in the system, I got really lucky that I had God from the start.  He helped me through so many nights of being alone and trying not to be afraid.  I would lay in bed, and I would talk to Him, in my heart, you know.  Just talk.  I’d tell Him about school and about what was going on.  Finally He brought me to Mrs. Malowinski’s house, and she taught me even more how much He loves me, how much He cares and especially how He really does have plans for me—things I can’t see or imagine.  That gives me hope, hope that all this stuff that’s happened to me is for a reason, that He’s got a Plan to use them to help others and maybe even me. 

CEN:  What was it like to lose your parents at such a young age? 

It was really hard because I didn’t have anyone else.  It was like one minute I had a family, and then all of a sudden, it was just me… well, me and God.  I guess that’s why I got so close to Him.  He was the only thing I had left, the only thing I really had to hold onto. 

CEN:  What do you like to do in your spare time? 

What spare time? (Laughs.) 

I don’t get time off very much at the Ayers’ mansion.  Not that anyone does.  Even Peter is scheduled to the hilt.  But I have gone out with Greg a couple of times. Oh, Greg is one of Keith’s friends.  Not that that makes any difference, but… 

Well, anyway, I’ve kind of learned that taking time off or doing anything outside of what’s written on Patty Ann’s schedule is a good way to get into big trouble although to be honest, I would really like to go out riding with Keith and the kids again.  Not that that will happen, of course, but it would be nice. 

CEN:  What is your biggest fear? 

That I’m going to be homeless, hungry, and alone if this job doesn’t work out, and right now, that’s looking more and more likely!  In fact, I really need to get back because Patty Ann’s just looking for a reason to fire me, and me being gone so long would be good enough for her. 

CEN:  Okay.  Well, thank you for sitting down with us today. 

Maggie:  Thanks for having me, and now I really have to get back.  God bless! 

*~* 

Staci StallingsStaci Stallings, the author of this article, is a Contemporary Christian author and the founder of Grace & Faith Author Connection and CrossReads.com. Staci’s #1 Best Seller, Deep in the Heart, featuring Maggie Montgomery from the interview, is free on Amazon July 19th – 23rd  

Deep in the Heart 

 “This is more than a romance.  The author cuts straight to the heart of God–love.  God is love. Even through unexpected tragedies.  And we can overcome evil with good–by His love.”  

–Betty Anne Bantz 

Can Keith defy the most powerful men in Texas to follow his heart?   

Kindle Ebook: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005LVVIIG 

Paperback: http://ow.ly/c1uHt 

Also Available in Paperback and on Audio as well as in Kindle Unlimited!

Deep in the HeartAbout “Deep in the Heart” 

Just out of college and completely alone in the world, Maggie Montgomery has one shot left to save her life from an abyss of poverty and hopelessness. Clinging to the last shred of fuel and hope, she arrives at the mansion of Texas billionaire Conrad Ayers. Although Maggie is clearly not what Mr. Ayers and his wife have in mind for a nanny, they agree to hire her temporarily until they can find someone more appropriate to fill the position. However, Maggie’s whole world is about to be up-ended by two way-over-scheduled children and one incredibly handsome hired hand. As she struggles to fit into a world she was never made to fit in, Maggie wonders if she can ever learn to become a perfect version of herself so she can keep the job, or is she doomed to always be searching for a life she can never quite grasp? 

Keith Ayers despises his life. As the son of Texas billionaire Conrad Ayers and the fiance to a Senator from Texas’ daughter, it looks great on the outside, but inside, he is dying. He would vastly prefer to manage and train his father’s racehorses. However, everyone else thinks that is beneath him. He needs to get into industry and build on his father’s success. Suffocating under the constrictions of his life, he meets Maggie who begins to teach him that wealth and power is not everything in this life. But can Keith defy the most powerful men in Texas to follow his heart?

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